How to cook… Chicken Vindaloo

Recipes

Serves 4 as main dish

The Vindaloo is for curry lovers who are after some serious heat. Originally a pork and vinegar dish from the tiny state of Goa, restaurants took the name to represent a super spicy curry. The restaurant-style Vindaloo has heat from the peppercorns and chilli powder, sourness from the vinegar and includes its trademark chunks of potato. You’ll need to make our Base Curry Sauce first to cook this dish.

What you need…
• 1 large potato cut in chunks of 5cm in size (you should have 6-8 of them)
• 2 Tablespoons ghee
• 1 teaspoon garlic paste
• 600ml Base Curry Sauce
• 2 Tablespoons tomato ketchup
• 800g chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces
• 1 Tablespoon garam masala
• salt to taste
• 0.5 onion sliced
• 1 Tablespoon vinegar

Spice Mix 1
• 1 Tablespoon mild curry powder
• 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
• 4 teaspoons chilli powder
• 1 teaspoon vinegar

Spice Mix 2
• 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
• 0.5 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
• 1 teaspoon peppercorns

How to make it
1. Boil the potato chunks in water and pinch of salt until cooked. While it is boiling­ mix the Spice Mix 1 with 1 tablespoon vinegar and enough water to form a sloppy paste.
2. Heat the ghee to a high heat. Add the Spice Mix 2 and fry for 10 seconds. The spices should sizzle immediately. You can test the ghee is hot enough by adding one cumin seed.
3. Add the garlic paste and cook for 1 minute on a lower heat. You may have to remove the pan from the heat initially to stop the paste burning. (If it burns throw it away and start again.)
4. Add the Spice Mix 2 and cook for 2 minutes. It should now be thick and gloopy.
5. Add the Base Curry Sauce and tomato ketchup and cook for 2 minutes.
Add the chicken, mix well and cook for five minutes.
6. Add the garam masala, salt and mix well. Cook for 2 more minutes.
7. Add the onion and the tablespoon of vinegar and continue cooking until the chicken is fully cooked.
8. Finally, add the cooked potato pieces, mix in well and serve.

CHEF’S TIP
You might want to order a cold beer or icy mango lassi to wash down a hot dish like a Vindaloo.
Chicken Vindaloo, the hot and sour favourite for heat lovers.

If you like this you should try our
Prawn VindalooLamb VindalooMedium Chicken CurryChicken MadrasChicken Bhoona

Check out 5 Best Goa Curries

A customer in an Indian restaurant just can’t make up his mind what to order. Eventually the staff are getting impatient.
“Shall I have the Butter Chicken or the Vindaloo,” he asks for the umpteenth time. “And the rice or the naan?”
“Sir,” replies the waiter. “We have many dishes and we can advise you, of course. But the final choice of what you want to eat is en-Thali up to you.”

Curry with a view

3. Reviews (International)

Indian Aroma, Puerto del Carmen, Lanzarote

It’s nice to see a familiar face. Just a couple of days after visiting Indian Zaffran it was time to head down to ‘The Strip’ to check out sister restaurant Indian Aroma. And there was the waiter who served me before. “Hello again, I’m helping out down here today.”

Aroma is in the New Town (the Strip is where all the action is) whereas Zaffran is in the Old Town. The food, as you’d expect, is on a par but they haven’t just replicated the place and the decor is more contemporary. Aroma has got the benefit of a sea view and sun on the pavement tables outside.

I suppose it should be fish right by the sea but this is all about finding something hot. No messing about then: Chicken Vindaloo (€7.50 plus 5% tax) and Lamb Chilli Masala (€10.75 plus 5% tax) both in a especially thick, rich and dark sauce. Both dishes were, as you’d expect, hot to trot, although for some reason they sound even hotter when described in Spanish.

So for the record it was Un Plato de Goa Famosa por ser Picante (€7.50) and Hecho con Pimiento Verde y Salasa Picante (€10.75). Not really worth saying anything else after that is there?

Indian Aroma, Avenida de las Playas 14, Puerto del Carmen, Lanzarote, tel: +928 528 405 (reservations) or +928 512 747 (deliveries). Open: daily noon–3pm, 6.30pm–11.30pm. indianaroma@hotmail.com

Indian Aroma snapshot

Food ① ② ③ ④

Decor ① ② ③

Value ① ② ③ ④

Atmosphere (Monday night) ① ② ③

Service and friendliness ① ② ③ ④


Quick and easy

1. Reviews (London)

Mehak, Greenwich

Is it me or is up selling in Indian restaurants getting worse?

“Popadoms sir?”
“Not really.”
“Starter sir?”
“No, I’m not that hungry.”
“Vegetable side dish sir?”
“No, I’m okay thanks.”
“Dessert sir?”
“Just the bill thanks.”

How many times have you been in that position in a curry house (often with dirty looks from the waiter)? Or worse still, how many times have you been pushed into ordering an extra dish you probably don’t even want? Sadly it happens, and while I have sympathy with the restaurants who have to make a living, what’s wrong with letting customers pop in for quick and easy curry sometimes (assuming we don’t hog the best table on a Saturday night of course).

So a round of applause to one of Greenwich’s less mentioned curry houses: Mehak. There’s a time and a place for a feast, but one Friday night I just fancied a quick curry. Chicken Vindaloo (£4.40), Pilau Rice (£1.80), Chapati (£1.10) and a large bottle of Cobra (£4.40). No problem. I get my curry fix and I’m in and out of this smart restaurant pretty quickly with a cost of just £12.30 (the other 60p was for the lime pickle).

I was impressed with the food (it’s hard to impress with a basic dish but the Vindy was hot with a thick, dark sauce) and I was impressed with the service. So I’ll be back when it’s time for a feast, probably to taste the sweet and spicy Rista Masalla (£6.50) which is chicken breasts stuffed with mince.

Mehak, 160 Trafalgar Road, Greenwich, Se10 9TZ. Tel: 020 8858 0227 or 020 8293 4752. Open: Mon–Sat 6pm-11.30pm, Sun noon-11pm

Mehak snapshot

Food ① ② ③

Decor ① ② ③

Value ① ② ③ ④

Atmosphere (early on Friday night) ① ② ③

Service and friendliness ① ② ③ ④

Mehak on Urbanspoon

In search of a gem

1. Reviews (London)

Shampan 3, Welling
(review by @Benb111)

Get your Sat Nav primed and ready if you want to visit Welling’s award-winning Shampan 3 Indian restaurant.This hard-to-find success was rated Best in London Suburbs in the prestigious British Curry Awards this year, and will have curryholics flocking there to see what the fuss is about.

The restaurant – which opened in 2006 and is part of a small group – is situated in a dense residential backwater somewhere between the A207 into Welling and the A2. Believe me, it’s a pig of a place to find!My expedition party from Greenwich consisted of my wife and I, plus our two teenage children.

The restaurant itself is situated in a small parade of shop and the welcome we received on a cold December Wednesday wasn’t the greatest, even though we had booked. It was hurried rather than warm. With a bar by the entrance, the decor is smart, understated and relaxing, with pretty murals.

The menu is extensive with all the usual staples, but also with plenty of ‘recommendations’ as well. Starters range from £3.90 to £5.90 and for the main course you can have your traditional chicken favourites for £6.90. The priciest items on the menu are sea bass and ginger king prawns, both at £13.90.

I chose Chicken Vindaloo (£6.90), She Who Must be Obeyed (SWMBO) the Barbecued Lamb Achari (£8.50), with the lamb cutlets cooked in the tandoor. My son went for the Chicken Tikka Masala (£7.90), and my daughter Chicken Tikka (£7.50).

SWMBO loved her lamb, my son rated the CTM up there with the his favourite at Charlton’s Viceroy and my daughter enjoyed her tikka. We also had Bindi Bhajee (£3.90), plain rice (£2.50), coconut rice (£3.90), nan (£2.50), and peshwari nan (£2.90).

I was disappointed with my vindaloo. Maybe I was expecting too much because of the recent award, but I have had better at two Greenwich favourites: Chutney and Gurkha’s Inn. The bindi wasn’t the tastiest either, although the coconut rice was fragrant and delicious.

The friendliness of the place did warm up when the restaurant manager came to take our order and realised straight away that we weren’t regulars. He was happy to chat (even he uses a Sat Nav).But enough about food; loos tell a lot about a restaurant and the ones at Shampan are outstanding with five-star luxury. Curiously though, I had to ask for a soap dispenser because there wasn’t one – maybe it had been nicked?

One or two minor quibbles (they’re award-winners – they can take it). Shampan uses oversized plates and bowls so our table felt very cramped, so much so that a salad – part of the lamb dish – had to be put on an adjoining table. I also felt the waiters were a little too quick to pounce to sell more drinks. I had to stop my daughter, 13, ordering a third pineapple juice from a waiter who had asked her directly as soon as her empty glass hit the table.

So, would I go back? Yes, I would, although I do think you are hard pressed to beat the food and friendliness of our Greenwich favourites. Still, don’t take my word for it. Go for yourself… just don’t forget the Sat Nav.

The meal for four came to £66.80 (including non-alcoholic drinks but excluding service).

Shampan 3 Restaurant & Bar, 8 Falconwood Parade, The Green, Welling, Kent, DA16 2PL. Tel: 020 8304 9569. E-mail: info@shampangroup.com. Open: Mon–Sat noon-2.30pm, 5.30pm-10.30pm (11pm Fri and Sat), Sun noon–10pm.

Shampan 3 snapshot

Food ① ② ③ ④

Decor ① ② ③ ④

Value ① ② ③ ④

Atmosphere (Wednesday evening) ① ② ③ ④

Service and friendliness ① ② ③ ④

Join the queue

3. Reviews (International)

Gandhi Cuisine, Toronto, Canada

Although little more than a takeaway place with a few basic tables, Gandhi Cuisine seems to be the place to be for rotis in Toronto judging by the comments around me as I ate.

Set in a Bohemian part of town among tattoo parlours, bars, inexpensive restaurants and a mishmash of shops, Gandhis attracted a steady stream of students and travellers, and businessmen ringing their wives asking how hot the roti should be (they come in a choice of mild, medium or hot). More than one of these roti lovers proudly told their friend about the place’s reputation for good rotis.

If you’re after value, you should know the rotis are huge (nearly everyone walked out with a leftovers box) and the most popular is the Butter chicken roti ($11.95 plus tax). Just what you wanted to know? My pleasure.

Watching the chefs chopping and rolling away in the open kitchen, hearing the sizzle of the oil and breathing in that great smell of spice all adds to the nice buzz in Gandhis.

So it seems rotis are good. But what of the other dishes. The menu is fairly limited but if you like it hot then go for the Chicken Vindaloo with rice ($11.95 plus tax) washed down with a can of cold Coke ($1.50). My request for a ‘hot’ version prompted raised eyebrows and a ‘are you sure?’ And I soon knew why. With its thick tomato base, this was seriously one of the hottest vindys I have ever tasted. Thank goodness for the large portion of plain rice and the sour mixed pickles.

Hot. Very Hot.

In line with the basic nature of the place, everything is served on a tray in a metallic container and must be eaten with a plastic fork.  But this place is all about the food. And very good it is too.

Gandhi Cuisine, 554 Queen Street West, Toronto, Canada. Tel: +1 416 504 8155.

Gandhi Cuisine snapshot

Food ① ② ③

Decor ①

Value ① ② ③ ④

Atmosphere (Tuesday afternoon) ① ② ③ ④

Service and friendliness ① ② ③ ④

Gandhi's Indian Cuisine on Urbanspoon